Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

October 5, 2004

by V

VP Debate @ Case Western Reserve

Comments in reverse order...
The End. Boy, that got slow and boring in the last half. Edwards was clearly prepared and concentrating hard enough to dim the Johnny Sunshine vibe; that's too bad, but I give him a solid B+ for content. Cheney was Cheney, vice-grumbler in chief, angry and disdainful and full of distortions. Oh look, Judy Woodruff's taking dictation from Republican Saxby Chambliss! I think that's enough...

Closing statements: bio time for Edwards! Also, kitchen tables and worried families. Cheney: I will now grimace directly into the camera for the first time. The President and I won't be happy until.. well, let's just say we'll never be happy. Biological weapons! Stray nukes! State sponsored terror is the only kind of terror! You'd better do the right thing, peons.

Ifill: Whoever's elected will get a very divided country. Cheney: Yes, I'm disappointed in the country. Edwards: We'd do better; now, health care!

Flip-flops? Edwards brings out a laundry list of Bush flip-flops, as he should. Cheney: "voted for it before he voted against it" (context? what context?), "if they need more troops they'll ask us" (hah).

How are you different from each other? More time-wasting rambling from Cheney. Edwards, surprisingly, eschews reiterating his bio and goes all National Security in response to Cheney's closing growls.

Ifill: How are you qualified to be VP? Edwards: A) I'll tell the truth, B) a long resume does not equal judgment. Cheney: I shall now ramble and reminisce to further run out the clock so I don't have to answer any more questions than I have to.

Ifill: What about AIDS in America? Cheney: The President's been deeply concerned about AIDS in Africa. Edwards: Boy, health care coverage for everybody would come in handy, wouldn't it?

Cheney: 'the real reason Medicare costs went up 17 percent is, Senator, there was a 1997 bill which zzzzzzz subchapter S zzzzzzzzzz...' Who would have thought Cheney would go off into the weeds of technical detail? Seriously, I didn't.

Trial lawyers: Cheney isn't familiar with Edwards' cases (riiiiight) but blames lawyers for bad things. Edwards is proud of his career. No surprises here...

Gay marriage: both say no, but make nice with each other.

Edwards explains their approach to taxes and the deficit: a moral obligation not to leave huge debt to future generations. Cheney ignores everything he just said and accuses them of planning to raise taxes on everybody. Somebody check his hearing aid.

Cheney doesn't like Edwards' Senate record. Edwards smacks back with several ugly votes Cheney cast when he was a Representative. Cheney on his own votes: "..."

Bwa-ha-hah! Cheney sends people to FactCheck.com (a squatted-on domain) when the actual site is FactCheck.org. Boy, isn't that just a microcosm of so many Bush administration misfires...

First mention of Halliburton: Ifill! Tying it to Cheney's jones for Iranian trade. Interesting. Ifill's being more competent than I expected. (Wait, Edwards just said he mentioned H already. I must have been typing.)

Edwards: What they have are distortions and a failure to plan. BTW, we are committed to implementing all the reforms of the 9/11 commission.

Cheney: You were mean to Allawi! Do you know how hard we worked on his speech?

Exasperated looks from Cheney. Did he not get the memo?

Cheney namechecks Dean! Howard Dean made them vote against the $87 billion! i haven't heard that one before... Edwards: Cheney voted to cut many of the same systems he's now bitching about Kerry's vote on. Sad old man!

Cheney: You're not credible, you probably weren't there to vote for the $120 billion, and you voted against the body armor the President was thinking about vetoing. You don't have a record to prove you're going to do the right thing, unlike Dubya and I who have a shining record of increasing American casualties month over month. Grimace!

Interesting: Cheney's arguing over casualty percentages. Look over there, we've gotten more Iraqis killed than you thought!

Edwards is being sober but not nasty. Just right, IMO.

Edwards mentions Iran before Cheney; Cheney scowls...
Edwards explains 'global test'. "First, we kill terrorists wherever they are. 2nd, he'll never give any country veto power over the security of the US. I know the VP would like to pretend that wasn't said, and so would the President..."

Ifill: What will you do in a 2nd term to get bin Laden? Cheney: "We've never let up on bin Laden." I guess it depends on what the meaning of 'let up' is...

Cheney: "They are not prepared to deal with states that sponsor terror. They've got a very limited view of how to use military force." Exsqueeze me? Thinking state-sponsored terror is the source of our problem is the limited view. Al-Qaeda is not a state, schmuck.

Ifill: Would Saddam still be in power under y'all? Edwards: We'd have bin Laden by now, and he was a more important target. No connection. Cheney, quote: "The Senator's got his facts wrong, I have not suggested that there is a connection with Iraq and 9/11." Uhhhhhhh.... yeah. Boy, I'm looking forward to that playing on every news show next to clips of him doing that very thing.

Cheney: Abu Nidal! 10 year relationship with Saddam! We did exactly the right thing! Grrr! Edwards: Mr. Vice President, you are still not being straight with the American people. McCain! Lugar! Hagel! Bremer! Cheney: We've made significant progress, progress is well under way, we're confident. Edwards: There was no connection with 9/11, dude. Powell says so, Rumsfeld said so, so there.

1st question is on Bremer's remarks saying 'not enough troops'. Good.

Weird to have everyone sitting there quietly, not interacting at all for two whole minutes. Now Ifill's giving the rules. Split screen on C-SPAN, woohoo!

...and they're sitting at the table (C-SPAN 2 has the pre-show). Hey, they both have paper and pen. Call it off!
Posted by V at October 5, 2004 08:58 PM

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